Supreme Court dismisses Mutharika’s appeal

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The Supreme Court of appeal has dismissed an appeal by President Peter Mutharika and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to scrap off electoral case.

On Thursday, lawyers representing Mutharika and MEC argued the court should throw out the electoral case on grounds that the petitioner did not pay filing fee and that the petition was filed outside required timeframe.

Chakwera and Chilima at the court

But delivering his ruling, sitting judge Andrew Nyirenda said there was no notice of appeal for Peter Mutharika which is wrong.

“Our answer is yes, these matters are appealable under provisions 21 and 23. Proceeding from there, we notice a couple of issues; (A) there are no notice appeal files by the first appellant (b) there is a notice of appeal by the second appellant but the matters are matters raised by the first appellant and not the second appellant in the court below.

“Having made these observations, having heard the skeleton arguments and having heard counsel this morning orally and having considered the matter in entirety we dismiss the matter with costs,” the court said.

The matter was heard by a panel of seven judges which included the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, Justice Dunstain Mwaungulu, Edward Twea, Lovemore Chikopa, Rezine Mzikamanda, Anthony Kamanga and Edgar Kapanda.

Speaking with reporters, lead counsel for MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera, Mordecai Msisha, expressed excitement with the ruling saying it’s a go ahead for them to proceed at the Constitutional Court.

However, Msisha expressed fear with the pace the election trial is going saying they might not meet the target of 12 days.

On his part, Lawyer representing Mutharika Charles Mhango said they respect the ruling.

The constitutional court through MEC Representative Kalekeni Kaphale was cross-examining United Transformation Movement (UTM) president Saulos Chilima.

Kaphale will tomorrow start cross-examining Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera as they are challenging the May 21 elections results in which president Peter Mutharika declared a winner.

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